Making the case for college students to live in Springfield after graduation
Since its inception over a decade ago, one of the goals of The Network for Young Professionals has been to retain college students in this area after graduation.
But in recent months, the group’s Student Outreach Task Force has taken a more aggressive approach to their efforts.
“We had surveyed college students in the area to ask them what would help them consider living in Springfield after they finish school,” said Chamber Talent Retention Coordinator Katie Jones, who serves as staff liaison for The Network. “And the answers they came back with were very consistent. So we wanted to address those misconceptions head-on.”
Task force members have been taking every opportunity possible to make presentations to college students studying in Springfield, in an effort to debunk five consistent myths behind why they may consider leaving the area after graduation:
- "There is no opportunity for career advancement."
- "Springfield doesn’t have a lot to offer as a city."
- "Springfield is too small."
- "Salaries are not competitive enough."
- "I want to travel and explore the outdoors."
Presenters tackle each of those issues one by one, offering information that shows why the community actually is a good fit for young professionals and recent grads. They gave the presentation more than 20 times in 2018 to nearly 500 students.
“So far, the responses have been positive – I’ve even had some students tell me that they’re considering staying in Springfield as a result of learning more about the city,” Jones said, adding that the goal is to reach 800 students in 2019. “I’m really excited about what we’ll accomplish next year working to retain the best and brightest talent!”